Help for the Holidays: Surviving Stress During Pregnancy

Help for the Holidays: Surviving Stress During Pregnancy

The Baby Blog

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By Neely Cessac, Teratogen Information Specialist, MotherToBaby

The holidays are full of family, fun, and enjoyment – and the season is wonderful EVERY, SINGLE, DAY, right?! WRONG. Every year many pregnant women (as well as the general public) become so stressed and worried around this time. And rightly so…not only do pregnant moms have regular holiday stress, but they’ll soon become moms! M-O-M-S! Holy cow. An overwhelming concept, to say the least, especially with everyone telling you what you can (or should) do and what you can’t (or shouldn’t) do during pregnancy. As a birth defects information specialist, I’m starting to get a ton of questions surrounding stress from moms-to-be. I can relate…and I’m not even pregnant yet!

I always want everything to be perfect, from clean floors and ceiling fans, to wonderfully wrapped presents and delicious food. Luckily my mom is an expert at all of those things, so I asked my mom how she survived the holidays while she was pregnant with me. Between my teratology expertise (the study of exposures that cause birth defects) and her “mom-ology” expertise (the study of being awesome in general, but especially as a mom), we’ve put together a list of some key questions and answers to help you survive the holidays too!

Survival Q #1: How can I avoid becoming too stressed?

  • How you breathe is important! Be sure to take deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth, and relax.
  • Realize you are not alone. Most pregnant women and women in general are feeling the same way you are. Talk to others; it will help reduce your feelings of stress.
  • Take a nap! Escape and take a quick cat nap when you are really stressed and tired.
  • Light to moderate non-impact exercise is great too. Try walking, swimming or yoga.

Survival Q #2: How can I avoid becoming too fatigued?

  • Don’t be afraid to admit you are too tired to do some things. You cannot (and should not) be super woman during the holidays! Just say “no”.
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep! Try to get about eight hours of sleep each night.

Survival Q #3: How can I avoid drinking alcohol?

  • Don’t be tempted to drink alcohol, as alcohol is known to be harmful for baby. Bring your own non-alcoholic beer or wine with you to the party.
  • Want something bubbly to drink on New Year’s Eve? Try a delicious non-alcoholic sparkling juice or cider.
  • Make sure there is no alcohol in the drinks or desserts that your host/hostess is serving at the party. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Survival Q #4: How can I avoid complications from overeating, such as gas and constipation?

  • Eat more often, but eat smaller portions. With a baby on board, you do not have as much room in your tummy as you used to!
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat foods high in fiber, such as apples and broccoli.

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